Mandarin Jelly With Rosewater Yoghurt & Spiced Nuts

Thursday, 25 June 2015


I received a lovely email from a reader asking how to use mandarins from her neighbours garden. Last winter I developed recipes for Nourish Magazine on how to use these fighting citrus fruits. One of the recipes was, you got it- jelly! Mandarins are in season at the moment and are super sweet and plump- perfect for juicing and turning into a refreshing dessert. I know it seems like quite a summery dish, but after a big lunch over the weekend this is the perfect light and cleansing way to end the meal, without the guilt usually associated with winter puddings.

I hope you enjoy, this is for you Lauren!

800ml freshly squeezed mandarins- approx. 16-20 mandarins
4 tsp gelatine powder
½ cup boiling hot water

400g Greek yoghurt
400g Mascarpone or crème fraiche
3 tbs rose water
2 tbs maple syrup
½ tsp vanilla powder or 1 vanilla pods seeds

Spiced Nuts-
½ cup slivered almonds
2 tsp maple syrup
¼ tsp vanilla powder or 1/2 vanilla pod seeds
¼ tsp cinnamon

Mint leaves to garnish

For this recipe you need a trifle dish or a large glass vessel to serve. After squeezing the mandarins, strain the liquid into a large jug so it is smooth and free from pulp.  Mix boiling water and gelatine together in a bowl until dissolved then mix together with mandarin juice. Pour the liquid into your serving dish. Place this in the fridge to set for 8 hours or overnight.

To make the nuts preheat an oven to 150 degrees. You want the oven on a lower temperature to ensure the nuts crisp slowly and don’t burn. Mix all ingredients together well and scatter over a 
lined baking tray. Cook between 15 and 20 minutes or until the nuts are golden brown and crisp. Set aside to cool.

Mix the yoghurt, cream, maple syrup, rose water and vanilla gently together. Once the jelly is set spoon the yoghurt mix on top. Scatter the top with the spiced nuts and fresh mint just before serving.

Serves 8

Photography by Phu Tang

Green Pea Pikelets with Sumac Eggs

Monday, 12 January 2015


Happy New Year all!! I hope it was a fantastic time full of relaxation and deliciousness. I'm excited to share this recipe with you as it has just been published in a new American magazine, Habotai. You have to check it out, a super minimalist design by Brisbane born Amy Kanagaki. Thank you darling Amy & team Habotai. 

Now to the recipe. Frozen peas are so readily available, I feel the humble ingredient doesn’t get used enough!  They are deliciously sweet in flavour, high in protein, fibre and are a great source of antioxidants.  Peas are the most magnificent colour, making these pikelets quite the sight to see when you take a bite.

These pea pikelets make for the most delicious breakfast/lunch/brunch.  Teamed with a soft boiled egg and tahini yoghurt is best, however you can eat them (and I often do) as a cold snack on the go.

For the Pikelets
2 cups frozen peas, defrosted
2 eggs
80g crumbled fetta
3 tbs buckwheat flour
2 tbs water
1 tbs mint, finely chopped
1 tbs coriander, finely chopped
2 shallots, finely chopped
1 small red chilli, finely chopped (less if you’re not into the heat!)
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
1 tsp bi carb soda
juice ½ lemon
A little cracked pepper
Olive oil for frying
Lemon wedges, to serve

For the Dressing
4 tbs Greek or natural yoghurt
1 tbs lemon juice
2 tbs tahini
Pinch salt

8 Soft boiled eggs & 1 tbs sumac to serve (serves 4)

Place the defrosted peas in a mixing bowl and using a stick blender, blitz till half of the mixture is pureed, and the other half still whole & chunky.  Add all remaining ingredients and stir to combine.  The batter will be quite thick, unlike your regular pancake/pikelet batter.  Heat a large non-stick pan onto medium heat, drizzle a little oil into the pan and add the batter, one heaped tablespoon at a time.  Using the back of the spoon to flatten into a neat circular shape.  Let cook for 2 minutes or until bubbles begin to form on the top of the pikelet.  Gently flip over and cook the other side for 1 minute.  Repeat until you have used up all of the mixture.  This mixture will make 8-10 pikelets.

To make the dressing, combine all ingredients into a bowl and mix well.  Tahini stiffens the yoghurt, so for a runnier consistency you can add a little warm water.  Dollop over the pikelets and serve with soft boiled eggs with a pinch of sumac and a wedge of lemon.

Photography by Phu Tang. Recipe published in Habotai Magazine

Chocolate & Coconut Chia Pudding

Thursday, 16 October 2014

One of my most popular blog posts & recipes to date is my Coconut & Lime Chia pudding. If you have made it you will know how simple it is to whip up and that it is truly delicious. Now this recipe comes by request from a reader, how flattered am I?! Chia seeds are a really versatile ingredient for breakfast and especially to use in desserts. Chocolate teamed with coconut is one of my favourite flavour combinations and this pudding recipe is a hit all year round, simply top with seasonal fresh fruit. I've used raspberries however slices of orange, strawberries or banana would be super delicious too.

For this recipe note that I have used regular cocoa powder. More often than not I like to use raw cacao powder, however when I whipped this up it's what I had on hand! If you're going to use raw cacao powder or regular cocoa make sure you have a little taste along the way. I like my chocolate desserts quite bitter- this rice malt syrup to cocoa ration works for me. You may want to adjust the amount of sweetness to taste.

You can read all about the benefits of chia seeds here, but today I'm going to talk about cacao. For this recipe it's really up to you whether you use raw cacao or cocoa. Confusing you much? Here's the difference-

Raw cacao- is exactly that. Cacao beans that are un-roasted and cold pressed, which is the process that separates the cocoa butter from the remaining part of the bean. It is then ground into powder. By cold pressing the state of the bean remains raw, as no heat has been applied to the cacao bean. This means that all of the enzymes remain in tact, so it's better for you and your gut.

Cocoa- is the same as raw cacao, but has been roasted at a high temperature and has had heat applied to separate the cocoa butter, instead of cold pressing. Cocoa has a richer and darker flavour than when it is in it's raw state. Think about the difference between eating a raw cashew apposed to a roasted one. The roasted cashew has a deeper more intense flavour.

Let's get dessert making!

3 tbs chia seeds
1 can coconut milk (440ml)
2 tbs cocoa powder
2 tbs rice malt syrup
Pinch sea salt
Pinch vanilla powder

Combine all ingredients together well in a medium sized mixing bowl. Place in the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight to thicken. Once the coconut milk has reached a pudding like consistency you can place into individual ramekins or glasses to serve. Top with fresh raspberries or fruit of your choice and dust with a little extra cocoa powder just before serving.

Keep the puddings refrigerated until you serve. These are ideal for entertaining as you can make them in advance. The mixture will last for up to 1 week in the fridge but will continue to thicken, so before eating make sure to give it a good stir, and possibly add a little water or extra coconut milk before tucking in.

Comfortably serves 4, or 2 chocoholics!

Photography by Guy Davies, at Energi Photography Studio Sydney

Strawberry & Almond Oat Crumble

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Strawberries are unseasonably ah-mazing at the moment in Sydney, with the berry being grown in the warmer states, Queensland and Western Australia. They are o-so-reasonable and are the best out of season strawberries I have tasted in a long time. 

The weather is still on the nippy side and I am craving something sweet on the weekends when entertaining or just having a quiet night in. This strawberry crumble is an absolute sinch to make and can be made ahead and simply put in the oven before serving.

It is gluten and dairy free (as long as you use certified gluten free oats) and I use almond meal instead of flour to give the crumble a little more of a cake-y texture like the classic crumble recipes. This is one of these dishes that you really can't believe it isn't full of nasties!

For the berries-
4 cups (approx. 3 punnets) strawberries, both halved & quartered
1/2 tsp vanilla powder or 1/2 vanilla pods seeds
Juice 1 orange
2 tbs honey

For the crumble-
2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup almond meal
1/4 cup flaked almonds
4 tbs honey
4 tbs coconut oil, melted
1/2 tsp vanilla powder or 1/2 vanilla pods seeds
Pinch sea salt

Pre-heat an oven to 180 degrease celsius, fan forced. In a large pie dish or ramekin place the strawberries, orange juice, vanilla and honey. Stir to combine.

In a separate bowl place the oats, almond meal, vanilla and salt.  Stir to combine. Add the honey and the coconut oil and using your hands (this is the fun bit) work everything together. Once combined scoop onto the strawberries and gently flatten out. Place in the oven for 30-40 minutes, or until the top is golden and the strawberries have bubbled out the sides. I like to serve this with a generous heaped spoon full of yoghurt, and a scatter of mint. Enjoy!

Serves 6-8 people.
Photography by Guy Davies, at Energi Photography Studio Sydney

Roast Pumpkin Salad With Raw Macadamia Hummus

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Most of you will be totally unaware that in Australia, it is currently macadamia season. I love buying fruits and veg seasonally and think that I am pretty all over what's in and what's out- however I must admit that the only reason I know it is macadamia season is because of a tree outside my house that is bursting with these little nuts... Slippery little nuts that drop all over the pavement. When I realised what they were, I just had to crack them open and put them to good use. Even if they were an absolute pain to harvest!

To make this hummus it is best to buy fresh macadamia nuts form your local grocer, unless you have a tree handy! If it's hard to get a hold of macadamia nuts brazil or cashew nuts would also work well. When first making this 'hummus' I had initially intended to make a runny dressing for a salad, but it came out much thicker than anticipated- which I liked. I think it makes this recipe much more versatile. You can dollop it onto a salad (like in this recipe) or use it as a dip with crackers and chopped up vegies. I have also used it on toast as well as sandwiches, the consistency of it means you really can do anything with it when you need a bit of a flavour hit!

Macadamia nuts are rich in fibre and contain B complex vitamins which help support metabolic functions. They are also packed full of minerals such a calcium, iron, magnesium and manganese. So get cracking with this recipe!

To make this more-ish hummus and roasted pumpkin salad you will need- 


1 cup macadamia nuts, soaked for at least 8 hours or overnight
1 medium garlic clove, finely grated
Juice 1 lemon
3 tbs water
1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp honey
1/2 tsp cumin, ground
1/2 tsp corriander seeds, ground
1/2 tsp sea salt


1/4 whole pumpkin, approx. 600g, roughly chopped
1 tbs olive oil
Salt & pepper
1/2 tsp cumin, ground
1 medium avocado, flesh scooped into chunks
1/2 packet snow pea shoots
1/4 spanish onion, finely diced

1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
Juice 1/2 lemon
1 tsp balsamic vinegar

You need to leave time to soak the macadamia nuts before starting this recipe. To do this place the nuts into a medium sized mixing bowl and cover with 2 cups of water. Leave on the kitchen bench for 8 hours, or overnight.

Once soaked, place the nuts along with all remaining ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth. There should be a little texture left in the nuts so make sure not to over blend. In my mixer I blend for 1-1 1/2 minutes.


Pre-heat your oven to 200 degrease celsius, fan forced. Place the pumpkin onto a baking tray and drizzle with olive oil, cumin and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 40 minutes or until cooked through and crisp on the outside. I like to keep the skin on when roasting pumpkin. It's a lot easier than removing it! Once done set aside to cool slightly.

In a serving bowl place the snow pea shoots, add the pumpkin, avocado and red onion. Combine the dressing ingredients and drizzle over the salad. Toss together and serve with a generous dollop of macadamia hummus.

The hummus will last for up to 10 days in an air tight container in the fridge. The salad serves 2, there should be plenty of hummus left  for at least another salad and a few sandwiches!

Photography by Guy Davies shot at Energi Photography Studio, Sydney

Candied Orange & Pistachio Raw Chocolate Cake

Thursday, 17 July 2014

I've got another tangy citrus recipe to share with you from this month's Nourish magazine- however this one is a little more on the indulgent side! I'm definitely a savoury kind of girl when it comes to treats but I certainly can't go past a good ol' slice of cake. Especially when it's a 'free' kind of cake, even better! In my last post I touched on the benefits of incorporating citrus into your diet during winter- oranges are currently in season and are at their best in terms of flavour. Their vitamin c content and high levels of antioxidants are great for your immune system and assist in keeping those winter bugs at bay.

I made this cake for my Dad's birthday a little while back and I must say it was a hit. The combination of chocolate, pistachios with the orange are unbeatable. The best thing about this cake is that it is gluten free, sugar free, dairy free AND raw. It really is too good to be true.

****The entire chocolate cake in this recipe is raw, the candied oranges are not raw. Use freshly sliced oranges instead to decorate if you want 100% raw!

For the candied oranges-
1 medium sized orange, very thinly sliced
3 tbs rice malt syrup
3 tbs water
Pinch vanilla powder or 1/8 vanilla pod seeds

For the cake base-
180g pistachios
180g medjool dates
2 tbs raw cocoa powder
Pinch sea salt

For the cake centre-
500g raw cashews, soaked for a minimum of 8 hours
4 tbs maple syrup
4 tbs cocoa powder
2 tbs coconut oil, melted
Zest of ½ an orange
juice 1 orange
¼ tsp vanilla powder or ½ vanilla pods seeds
Pinch sea salt

For this recipe you need to begin by soaking the cashews in water for 8 hours, or overnight. Make sure they are fully submerged in water.

For the candied orange top, in a medium sized saucepan place water and rice malt syrup. Add vanilla and bring to the boil. Add orange slices. Let it boil for 1 minute then turn down to low and let simmer for 15-20 minutes until oranges turn translucent and syrup is very sticky. Carefully remove from the pan and let oranges cool on baking paper.

For the base, line a 24cm round spring cake tin. Blitz all ingredients together in a food processor until a chunky crumb forms. Press firmly into the cake tin and place in the fridge.

For the cake centre blitz all ingredients together in a food processor for 5 minutes or until a very smooth and mousse like consistency forms.  Spread the mixture onto the top of the cake crust and let it set in the fridge for a minimum of 4 hours.

Top the cake with the candied orange and a scatter of roughly chopped pistachios.  Serve straight from the fridge. Most of all, enjoy!

Tangelo, Mozzarella & Crunchy Quinoa Salad

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Citrus fruits are plentiful in Australia at the moment, with grapefruits, oranges, lemons, limes and tangelo's all currently in season. The mighty citrus is the fruit group you want to be eating during the cold winter months. Not just because they are particularly juicy and delicious at the moment, but they are also rich in antioxidants and vitamin c which boost your immune systems- helping to fight off those winter nasties!

I contributed a few citrus recipes to the June issue of Nourish Magazine, this tangelo and crunchy quinoa salad was by far my favourite dish. It's the perfect salad for a light lunch alongside a plate of protein, or as an entree when you're entertaining.  

Tangelo's are a hybrid fruit of an orange, mandarin and grapefruit. They have a wonderful aroma and sharp sweet flavour- if you can't find them at your local grocer oranges or grapefruit would work just as well as a substitute. Tangelo's are rich in dietary fibre, essential vitamins and minerals including vitamin A, B6  and C. They are also high in flavanoids which assist with inflammation related diseases such as asthma and arthritis. Incorporating citrus into your diet during this time of the year will be nothing but positive!

This recipe serves 2, you'll need-

For the salad-
1 large tangelo, skin removed and segments sliced
100g buffalo mozzarella, approx. 1 large ball, roughly torn
15 cherry tomatoes, halved
2 tbs cooked quinoa (I like to use white for this), plus olive oil for frying
Handful basil
Freshly cracked pepper and sea salt, to taste

For the dressing-
1 tbs balsamic vinegar
1 tbs olive oil

Heat a small frypan on high heat, add 2 tbs of olive oil and let the oil heat through for 1 minute. Add the cooked quinoa and stir continuously for 3 minutes or until the quinoa has turned golden and is crisp. Spoon the quinoa out of the fry pan and let drain on paper towel, set aside.

Place the sliced tangelo, mozzarella and tomatoes on a serving platter, top with the crispy quinoa and basil leaves. Drizzle with the olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Add a pinch of salt and cracked pepper to taste.

Photography by Phu Tang

Zucchini, Fetta & Quinoa Frittata Loaf

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

I'm a huge fan of the humble egg, I eat at least one egg one way or another every day. I love to soft boil them for breakfast and lunch and if I'm at home by myself for dinner they will often feature as an omelette. I think I like them so much because not only are they delicious, I find they satisfy my hunger and keep me going in-between meals, I'm a very good snack-er! It's not always easy to whip out a pot of boiling water or a fry pan during the day so I've done quite a bit of testing to bring you an all in one egg meal. 

This frittata style slice is packed with zucchini, so you can get your vegetable quota without even realising it. Zucchini is high in manganese which helps your metabolism process carbohydrates and proteins- umm, bring that on! It's also high in vitamin A and C which help fight inflammation such as arthritis and asthma.

This loaf is great for on the go and makes for a delicious breakfast. To make it you will need- 

4 cups grated zucchini
1 cup cooked white quinoa
6 eggs
2 tbs buckwheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 large brown onion, roughly chopped
1 clove garlic, finely grated
1 tsp olive oil
200g full fat fetta
1/4 bunch parsley, finely chopped
1/4 bunch mint, finely chopped
1 small red chilli, finely chopped
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp turmeric, ground
1 tsp cumin, ground
1 tsp coriander seeds, ground
1 tsp sea salt
Cracked pepper & salt
Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrease Celsius, fan forced. Line a 25cm loaf tin with baking paper. Make sure you line the ends as well as the eggy mixture likes to stick! Place the grated zucchini in a colendar and sprinkle with sea salt. Let it sit for 10 minutes, then squeeze to drain out excess moisture. Gently fry the onion and garlic until translucent. Add the dry herbs an cook for a further minute. Combine all of the remaining ingredients together in a mixing bowl, stir with a spatula until fully combined. Add the onion, garlic and spices and combine. Don't freak out, the mixture will be very wet. This is why it needs quite a bit of time in the oven than your regular loaf bake. Pour mixture into the loaf tin and cook for 60-70 minutes. The top should be golden in colour and firm to touch when done. Turn out onto a cooking rack and serve immediately. It will keep in the fridge for up to a week, can be eat cold straight from the fridge or toast in a sandwich press to crisp up and warm through. Enjoy!

Raspberry, Yoghurt & Muesli Breakfast Pop

Friday, 23 May 2014

May in Sydney has been surprisingly warm this year. The sun is shining and with temperatures still above 25 degrees it's hard to imagine Winter is just days away. In keeping with this I'm going to use the warm weather as an excuse to share this not-so-in-season post you'll definitely enjoy. 

I've been a little bad, okay maybe quite a lot bad with my posting over the last couple of months. A few things have changed with my work life, resulting in it being difficult to team up with my dear friends who for the last year have been shooting my recipes. I've also been busy working on some exciting new projects of mine, and sometimes in life something just has to give. Alas I'm back onto it and this week is the first post I have shot myself in my kitchen at home. I'm quite the perfectionist (eek) and I hope you enjoy the first edition of hopefully many more to come Lush styling AND photography posts.

Now enough of that and onto the recipe. The greatest thing about this recipe is that it uses frozen raspberries which are available all year round. They are reasonably priced and I think are the most delicious out of the frozen fruit aisle.  I find them to be the only frozen fruit that keeps their flavour and zing after frozen. Raspberries are rich in insoluble fibre, which means they help you feel fuller and for longer- making it a great fruit to eat in the morning. They are high in vitamin C, low in calories and are a great source of antioxidants. Having them lying around in the freezer to use any time of year is a must!

These breakfast pops are a breeze to make and great to grab on the run in the morning. I'm going to be honest I may nibble on them in the car when I'm really pressed for time.

Now to make these you will need ice block moulds. I bought mine from a storage container shop, I've seen them at most $2 shops too. You will also need muesli- I made a batch of my toasted vanilla spelt muesli to mix through the yoghurt.  It's a refined sugar free recipe, if you have time to make it, give it a go. If not a toasted or raw nut & seed muesli works best. This batch will make 4 pops, however this will vary depending on the size of the moulds you use.

Ice block mould
Pop sticks

1 cup full fat Greek yoghurt
1 tsp maple syrup
Pinch vanilla powder
1/2 cup frozen raspberries
1/2 cup muesli

In a small mixing bowl combine the yoghurt, maple syrup and vanilla powder. Stir till combined. I don't like things too sweet- have a taste and if you want to add a little more maple syrup do so. Add the muesli and roughly stir through. I like to leave some bits of muesli not totally combined so you get chinks throughout the pop. Spoon the yoghurt mixture into the ice block moulds, layering with the frozen raspberries. Once full, place wooden pop sticks into the centre of the mixture, push down until they are half way in- make sure you have enough room to hold it! Place the container in the freezer for at least 4 hours, or until frozen. Run under warm water to release them from the mould. Enjoy relaxing at home or on the run!

Gemma x

Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Grapefruit & Crispy Quinoa

Friday, 2 May 2014


I'm pretty thrilled to have contributed to one of my favourite blogs this week, Sous Style. Hop on over to their site- if it's not on your bookmarks it certainly will be once you've had a peek. I have cooked a spiced roast cauliflower salad with grapefruit and crispy quinoa and a little harissa yoghurt dressing.

There is a Q&A about my work life as a stylist as well of pictures of me at home in my kitchen with my new pup Ace the Aussie bulldog. You'll also find the delicious recipe for the cauliflower salad. I hope you enjoy reading and cooking, and finding out a little bit more about me!

Gemma xx

Sous Style Article here Cauliflower Recipe here

Photography by Dave Wheeler

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